Ham and blue cheese give a piquant bite to this rich casserole, which comes from Crabtree’s Kittle House, a restaurant in Chappaqua, New York.
Yield: serves 8-10
- 11 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 12 oz. rigatoni
- 2 slices crustless white bread
- 2 tsp. finely chopped thyme
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ cups flour
- 3 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 12 oz. grated sharp cheddar
- 8 oz. roughly chopped cooked ham
- 3 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
- ½ cups minced flat-leaf parsley
- ¼ tsp. hot sauce, such as Tabasco
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- ¼ freshly ground black pepper
- ⅛ freshly ground nutmeg
- Grease a 2-qt. baking pan with 1 tbsp. butter; set aside. Bring a 6-qt.pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until al dente. Drain pasta, rinse; set aside. Pulse bread into crumbs in food processor; mix with 4 tbsp. butter; set aside.
- Heat oven to 400˚. Melt remaining butter in a 6-qt. pot over medium heat. Add thyme and onions; cook until soft, 6-8 minutes. Whisk in flour; cook 2-3 minutes. Whisk in milk and cream. Increase heat to medium-high; cook, whisking, until thick, 10-12 minutes. Whisk in salt, cheddar, ham, blue cheese, parsley, hot sauce, scallions, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in pasta; add to pan; sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake until bubbly, 30-40 minutes.